Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information as a result of hearing loss. Important information, when it comes to health care, could be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Disabling hearing loss is a problem globally for about a third of people over 65.
But astoundingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people who suffer from disabling hearing loss have taken measures to improve their situation. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Crucial
Miscommunication is one of the primary causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been better. An enhanced ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at important information you might miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding particular health goals. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can be harmful. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that suggest that you require medical care. You might not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t completely comprehend what your doctor was saying.
There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to make you aware of. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical information is particularly tough because of a little thing called context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact rather good at. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can totally alter the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can lead to severe medical issues.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing important medical advice if you have hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.